The Panic Virus

The Panic Virus

A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear

Book - 2011
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In 1998, a gastroenterologist with a history of self-promotion published a shocking paper alleging that vaccines cause autism. The media seized the story and helped launch one of the most devastating health scares ever. Though the doctor lost his medical license and his research was found to be flawed and unreliable, and many other studies prove no link between autism and vaccines, the myth that vaccines cause developmental disorders refuses to die out - while the number of children dying from vaccine-preventable diseases is climbing again. Interviews with parents, health advocates, scientists, and anti-vaccine activists explore the limits of rational thought and make us ponder who can we trust and how can we decide what is truth.
A searing account of how vaccine opponents have used the media to spread their message of panic, despite no scientific evidence to support them.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2011
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439158647
1439158649
Branch Call Number: 614.47 MNOOKIN
Characteristics: xvi, 429 p. ; 25 cm

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StarGladiator
Jun 30, 2015

I firmly believe in vaccines and vaccinations, but - - a prestigious French research institute did find a correlation between the AMOUNT of vaccines received by very young children prior to the age of 3, and the onset of autism. The NUMBER of vaccines administered to children and its connection autism has never been addressed by America's scientific establishment and to date they still refuse to address this point!

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VRMurphy
Jul 28, 2014

If you are thinking of NOT immunizing your children, please read this book. Well-written explanation of how poorly the Wakefield "study" really was done, how its false message spread around the internet and was swallowed whole by otherwise intelligent people, and what the risks actually are. Disclosure: I am the parent of 1 autistic child and 3 neurotypical ones, and they all got vaccinated.

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AllieTaylor
Oct 24, 2013

P.236

debwalker Feb 21, 2011

Vanity Fair contributor Mnookin explores a "long, disturbing and deadly scandal" that started when a Canadian-trained researcher suggested a link between childhood vaccination and autism. The research was a hoax - the proposed link did not exist then and doesn't now - but parents made life-changing decisions based on it. The resulting drop in vaccination rates has led to the return of diseases like whooping cough, measles and mumps - and childhood suffering and death. Horrifying.
Oakland Ross
Toronto Star Jan 23, 2011

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paul1
Feb 09, 2011

An excellent book on the supposed controversy on childhood vaccination and autism. I say supposed controversy since numerous credible researchers that Mnookin cites have shown time and time again no connection between vaccination and autism.
Mnookin covers all the angles in this book. How autism advocacy groups were hijacked by the shrill and uninformed with an anti-science agenda. No nothing politicians jumping on the anti-vaccine bandwagon for political gain (50 years ago they would have been attacking fluoridation as a communist plot).
Particularly infuriating are the vaccuous media celebrities that used their fame to propagandize even though they should have sought out the actual science of vaccine and public health. Oprah and Jenny McCarthy have demonstrated how dangerous the spread of misinformation truly is.
He also shows how Dr. Wakefield's MMR "research" was driven by pure financial interest. A point many of his supporters willfully ignored.
The book is a cautionary tale on how lies, half truths and ignorance can spread. (Many of the anti-vaccination zealots quite openly state that they used "feeling" instead of using evidence in this issue). Then they can spread their affect far and wide causing harm throughout society.

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